If you’re looking for a way to start growing your muscles in the gym, bulking is a popular option to stimulate muscle growth and development!
The diet you follow when bulking is crucial to the success of your weight gain, and one common, well-rounded vegetable could be a crucial staple.
So, are potatoes good for bulking? The simple answer is that yes, potatoes are a great addition to your diet when bulking due to their nutrients and contents! They’re high in calories, meaning they’re great for people who want to increase their intake when bulking.
This article will cover:
- The nutritional benefits of potatoes
- How you could and should include them in your bulk
- Ways to eat them that keep them fun and interesting
- When to eat them
- Important things you should be aware of.
If you want to increase your calories and bulk with potatoes, this article is a great place to start. Let’s jump into it!
Table of Contents
The Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes
The nutritional benefits of any food are important, and potatoes have a lot of wonderful characteristics that can fuel your body and muscle growth.
Foods are made up of certain macronutrients that have individual roles: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Potatoes are heavy in carbohydrates, as they are the main macronutrient that makes up a potato.
Carbohydrates in potatoes are mainly composed of starch, which is held in the liquid you might see when you cut open a spud.
Carbs are packed with energy, which is great for muscle recovery and energy levels after a good workout or a long day of exercise. Carbohydrates are also particularly great for promoting glucose levels for optimal brain function.
A medium-sized potato contains around 38.6 grams of carbohydrates, according to USDA food data.
Mayo Clinic states that an average daily intake of carbs should be around 250 grams, so down a few potatoes and you’re nearly there!
Vitamins and minerals are another key part of food content. Potatoes are a great source of Vitamin C, which is great for the immune system and many other functions in the body.
They contain high levels of vitamin B6 which is important for iron levels, as well as potassium that’s particularly great for your muscles!
Fiber is another key nutrient, which doesn’t get digested but is important for your diet nonetheless. Fiber is important for blood sugar levels, digestion, and gut health.
Fiber also has a crucial role in keeping the body moving, and it keeps you full so you don’t get hungry as quickly.
Potatoes have a relatively high amount of fiber — around 2.6 grams — and it is concentrated in the skin of the potato, so don’t peel it off! Fiber is important for maintaining energy levels and preventing crashes, especially during exercise.
Finally, let’s discuss protein. Protein is an extremely important part of our diets as amino acids that play a part in the overall physiological function of the body.
Our bodies use protein to regulate hormones, maintain cell health, function as enzymes, build and maintain muscle function, and speed up repair processes of damaged cells or other body parts.
Potatoes don’t contain high levels of protein (only around 2.6 grams), but there is some in there. It is important to increase protein intake for bodybuilding and muscle growth, so don’t rely on potatoes alone!
Here’s a table to show the key differences in macro and micronutrients in different sizes of potatoes:
These statistics come from the USDA.
|Potato size||Calories||Carbohydrates||Protein||Fiber||Potassium||Vitamin C|
|Small (2” wide)||134 kcal||30.8 g||3.64 g||2.21 g||709 mg||9.69 mg|
|Medium (3” wide”||168 kcal||38.6 g||4.56 g||2.77 g||888 mg||12.1 mg|
|Large (4” wide)||292 kcal||66.8 g||7.9 g||4.8 g||1640 mg||21 mg|
How do you include potatoes in your bulking diet?
So, now that you know you can and should include potatoes in your biking diet, how can you prepare them?
There are of course the classic ways to prepare potatoes: mashing them, boiling, roasting, and frying!
Each of these methods is masterful in its own right and extremely delicious to boot.
My personal favorite way to prepare potatoes is by roasting them. Chop the potatoes into your desired shape, drizzle with a little olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt, and put in the oven for 30 minutes at 430℉. So easy, yet so delicious!
Mashing, boiling, roasting, and frying can get a little tedious or repetitive, so try smashed potatoes if you’re getting bored.
Chop your potatoes into large bite-sized pieces, and boil them until they are soft. Space them out on a baking tray and use the bottom of a glass to smash them down. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary, and bake for 45 minutes at 400℉.
As potatoes are a little low on protein, it’s important to include other sources in your meals. Some great sources of protein include lean meats; chicken, sirloin steak, and fish, and plant-based options such as tofu, beans, chickpeas, and quinoa are excellent.
Having a balanced, protein and carb-heavy diet will help your bulk immensely!
A top tip for getting the most out of your potatoes is to leave the skin on. You can still thoroughly wash them prior to cooking, but the skin contains a significant amount of nutrients important to a balanced diet.
Vitamins, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants are all packed into the small layer around the potato. Yum!
Potatoes are very, very low in fat, so try not to add it back in with unhealthy or unnecessary fats like butter and cream.
Adding fats back into your meal if they are low has no outstanding impacts on bulking, except maybe in terms of taste. A little is of course fine in moderation, but seeing they are already so low-fat, try and get your fat elsewhere!
Here are a few days of meal plans incorporating potatoes that can help you get started if you’re stuck on how to incorporate potatoes into your meals.
- Omelet with tomatoes
- Diced potatoes cooked with rosemary and olive oil
- Grilled chicken breast with broccoli and carrots
- Mashed potato
- Salmon filet with lemon and pickled lime relish
- Roast potatoes with lemon and garlic
- Sliced cucumber and carrot with hummus.
- Fried egg on toast with sriracha
- Diced potatoes cooked with rosemary and olive oil
- Grilled chicken wraps with hand-cut potato fries, lettuce, and tomato
- You can air fry the fries to reduce oil intake.
- Grilled sausages
- Mashed potato
- Side salad
- Greek yogurt with berries and honey
- Oatmeal with banana and peanut butter
- Side of diced potatoes cooked with rosemary and olive oil
- Japanese golden curry with potatoes
- Rice to serve
- Cheeseburger bowls, mince, lettuce, cheese, tomato, and potato fries.
- Sliced apples with almond butter and cinnamon
Should I Eat Potatoes Before Or After Working Out?
Choosing when to eat potatoes generally depends on personal preference.
Some people like to eat after they work out, and some like to eat before as an energy source. It’s entirely dependent on your body and your goals!
If you’re looking for an energy boost before your workout, it’s a good idea to eat potatoes before — around ½ a cup to a cup of cooked potatoes.
For replenishing your energy after a workout, eat around 1 cup to a cup and a half.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Consuming Too Many Potatoes?
As with many foods, consuming in moderation is important. There are a few drawbacks to consuming too many potatoes:
- Potatoes have high GI, so they can cause blood sugar spikes when consumed in large portions. It is important to control blood sugar, which can be a specific concern for diabetics
- Nutrient imbalance is another concern for eating too many potatoes. Although they are a great source of fiber and carbs, they lack high protein and other essential vitamins. It’s important to remember to balance your diet by eating potatoes with other foods as well
- Digestive discomfort can be a side effect of too many potatoes. As they are high in fiber, they generally promote digestion and the passing of gas. However, too many can cause bloating and constipation
- Acrylamide formation can happen when potatoes are cooked at continuously high temperatures such as in baking. There are concerns about excessive acrylamide and its links to being a carcinogen.
According to the National Cancer Association, foods with an excessively high content of acrylamide should be avoided in high quantities.
What potatoes are best for bulking?
Potatoes are beneficial for bulking due to their high concentration of carbohydrates.
Sweet potato has a great variation of nutrients and low GI, meaning lower sugar content. Red or golden potatoes are also great due to the fact that they retain a lot of their nutrients during the cooking process.
Are potatoes better than oats?
Potatoes and oats both are good options for carbohydrate bulking, and they both contain key vitamins and minerals important for a balanced diet.
The choice depends on personal preference or even the time of day!
Is boiled potato rich in protein?
Potatoes, while rich in carbohydrates and vitamins, are not a great source of protein.
There are around 2-6 grams of protein in a potato, so increase your protein intake by balancing your diet with other protein-rich foods such as lean meat.
Is potato good for clean bulk?
For a clean bulk, potatoes can definitely work — especially sweet or red potatoes which are typically higher in nutrients and slightly leaner.
As with all diets, it is important to balance your diet to get the most nutrients and macros that you can from a variety of foods.
Is potatoes better than rice for bulking?
Potatoes and rice are both good sources of carbohydrates for bulking.
Potatoes have a higher content of other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, while rice is a suitable and diverse option for many different meals.
In summary, potatoes are great for bulking!
Whether you’re wanting to increase your carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C and B6, love the taste, or are trying to increase your caloric intake, potatoes are an excellent option.
They have numerous benefits, and there are a million different ways to cook and enjoy them. Happy bulking!